Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day SIX of the RV Remodel

I feel that I have been a good sport and a patient person about how long the work on the RV is taking, even though I feel like they're averaging one shelf per day. However, I'm getting cranky. My new bracelet (from the Blue Willow gift shop) pretty much sums up my current state of mind.

Monday we went out to the Agua Caliente Park. We were having a high wind alert, so we didn't hike or bike. The park is 110 acres, on what used to be a cattle ranch. Eventually, the land passed to the local government to become a park. It was close, the developers almost got the land. Ray Drachman stepped in with money and helped the county buy the land. There is a permanent spring, which makes the palm trees very happy.

This is the seasonal pond, which is not getting much water at the moment.

Slider turtles.

After the park, we drove up Mount Lemmon. There were more people out riding than we would have anticipated, given how windy it was.

Windy Point, where many RCW riders turn around, after riding up. It's about 6,000 feet.

Not that much was accomplished today. Apparently they were down 2 technicians, so progress was minimal. We're still being told it will be done by close of business tomorrow, but I do not believe that. No, not even for a second do I believe that. My biggest problem is that I'm down to one sports bra and my last pair of bike shorts. I need to do laundry!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day FIVE of the RV Remodel

Greetings Earthlings. We have not perished, we've been spending our days out of the RV while work is done on it. We're really really tired of not having a home during the day. We're not done! One, maybe two more days. Today we learned that our ancient home theater system is not really compatible with the new TV. It's always something. This is what our living room looks like at the moment.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day Two of the RV Remodel

Homeless, homeless. Remember the album Paul Simon did with Ladysmith Black Mambazo? I forget which song it was, but the chorus was "homeless, homeless". And thus, that is the song that is stuck in my head today. We're staying at the airport Hampton Inn. We have a nice room with a balcony. It's good to have the outside space for the mountain bikes.
We forgot to get a bicycle tire pump out of the RV so yesterday we went by ABE to get CO2 cartridges in case airing up tires was required. Spencer the shop dog was there, just cuter than a bug. He's less standoffish than he was last year, which is good. ABE has a cool thing they do, they have bike saddles one can test drive and then bring back. Since I am always on the hunt for something better than what I have, I signed up for the program.

This is the view from the balcony.

We went by the RV to pick up a few more things this morning. They were installing the new convection microwave. That thing weighs 75 pounds. It's just a brute. It was not going quietly into its new home. There was much pushing and then looking at the back of it.

We had a good ride at Fantasy Island. We did part of the Burro Pit Loop, Bo's Loop (which I rode well), and then Lone Cactus. Riding the trails full of loose round rocks at McDowell Regional Park at Thanksgiving has greatly improved my round rock performance. I cleaned all of the steep switch backs on Bo's today, which was very good.
We have washed our bike clothes in the hotel laundry and they are now out on the balcony drying.

I think we'll mountain bike again in the morning and then go see how close they are to being done. I strongly expect that we'll be back there again with the RV next week.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

As Seen in Walmart

We nipped in to Walmart for toilet paper today, since we were already at Lowe's buying door pulls, and Walmart is right next door. I have to ask you, who wears shoes like this for grocery shopping? It makes my metatarsal heads ache just looking at those heels.

Tomorrow we're taking the RV back in to Premier RV for the work we tried to get done a month ago, when we were overtaken by events. Hopefully the RV will start, and shut off, and nothing will go pfffftttttt, and all will be well. Given the list of items we want done, they're estimating 2 days. I'm looking forward to having the current TV replaced by one that is not possessed. At this point, we do not know where we will be sleeping tomorrow night.
So, that is what we're doing this week.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Christmas Tree Loop at FI

We rode out at Fantasy Island today. Some of the washes have gotten a little gruesome out on Christmas Tree loop. Here is Jim sitting with his new friend at the start of the loop. It's always interesting to see the new stuff left under the tree.

The Christmas Tree.

The recharge feasibility investigations notification.

I rode fairly well today. I bailed on one of the washes after looking down at giant chunk of concrete menacing my right pedal. It startled me so much, I just quit pedaling.
Other than that, we have not much to report.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Waiting for Parts

Ho Hum, today is a tedious day. UPS reports that the over the range convection/microwave is out for delivery, and that a signature is required. Thus, I must remain tethered to the RV, waiting for delivery. At least the weather isn't perfect today, so I'm not wasting sunshine.
Ken of Cameron's Reliable came by to replace the spring on the bedroom slide topper. This is Rachel holding the spring in her left hand. It's huge! I had no idea it would look like this.

Unfortunately, there's always something. It was more than a broken spring. One of the pins on the end cap is sheared off; and so the spring can not be replaced until new end caps are acquired. See the inverted V thingy in front of the central round thingy? That is not supposed to look like a wave, it should be a pointy V shape. Ken took the slide topper off so we can drive the RV without ripping it off.

We're going in for appliance installs and cabinet work on the 22nd, so we are still on schedule for that.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Javelina Sighting

Don, Jamie and I drove up to the Genser Trailhead to hike today. This is what we saw. Those are javelina. While it was really very cool to see them, it was a little sad to see how little fear of people they have. Judging by how comfortable they were walking onto someone's patio, I suspect people are feeding them.

This is up by the horse water tank. The lantana is in bloom.

Along the trail.

It was an excellent walk in the desert.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Rain in Tucson

It was windy, rainy and cold today! I want my snowbird rebate. Marana had a small snow storm, they're higher than we are in the south end.

Anyhoo, Jim is in Seattle and I am here. He'll be back Friday, and I will be happy about that.

Update: The local news has people outside standing around with thermometers. It's 40 degrees. Aaahhhhhhh! Run for your lives! Cover the plants, the people, the pets! Aaahhhhhh! Small market news, gotta love it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Opening Day of Allergy Season

Aaaaaaargh. I was really hoping that last year was an aberration, and that this year I would not react to the spring bloom. However, this does not appear to be the case. I think I'll start the Zyrtec again tonight, and see how it goes. Last year was just awful.

We hiked today, it was pitiful, too much coughing.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tucson Gem Show & Home Depot

This morning we went to Gem and Mineral show at the Tucson Convention Center. It's enormous, there are people from all over the world displaying their wares. Both of us were astonished by the number of minerals for sale and how much they cost. Since we know zippity doo-dah all on the subject of minerals, we couldn't tell what was a reasonable price and what wasn't.

The blue ones are from Afghanistan. They export many minerals. They were running $18 a gram, so they were fairly expensive.

This is a little rock, notice the price.

The fossils are always interesting.

Check the prices on the necklaces. We can't imagine roaming around the country with this much expensive stuff. Every year someone is robbed.

A 68 pound hunk of turquoise which someone had carved. It's pretty impressive.

Bracelets which required a lot of work to create.

There were wood workers displaying wood and mineral bowls. Very pretty, exquisite work.

Then it was off to Home Depot to order an over-the-range microwave/convection oven. It's very frustrating, how little the big box stores actually stock. We have done all of our research on line, and now have ordered the thing site unseen. I hope we like it. Aren't these cute? One can buy pre-planted, pre-caged tomato plants and bring them home.

Now we are off to do laundry. One wonders how two people mess up so many clothes.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Riding Fantasy Island - Shaft & Lone Cactus

Beautiful day today, just spectacular. We rode Fantasy Island with friends of ours, all of whom ride faster than I do. It was good to be pushed to ride faster than normal, from a training perspective, but unnerving from a bicycle fishtailing on the sandy trail perspective. The rubber side of the bike stayed down and I was happy about that.
This is along the trail somewhere. The piece of paper is a notification that giant holes will be dug in the desert to see if it drains well. Tucson used to survive on ground water, but the pace and degree of development have depleted the aquifer. If Fantasy Island is suitable, water from a treatment plant will be poured on to the desert (that's a gross simplification) and allowed to percolate down to the aquifer. The notice assures us that mountain biking will not be affected by this activity. In one sense it might be good, the area is State Trust Land and is for sale. If it becomes an aquifer recharging area, that might take it out of the for sale category. It's an absolute gem of a place to ride, it would be sad if condos sprouted there.

If you refer back to my post of last March, you can see the Shaft in its former gnarly glory. In the interim, someone has flattened out the ruts on the down hill section, installed concrete blocks and back filled with sand. One goes down much faster now, however I still did not clean the left turn. I tend to target fixate on that tree with the Ford tail gate in it.

I saw two cows today. She did not offer to charge us as we rode by, and we were happy about that.

In other news, a miracle occurred and our RV extended warranty company approved the claim for the melted multiplexer boards and associated labor. This is not the same thing as actually paying, we shall stand by to be amazed. I would like to go on record thanking the staff at Premier RV who have wrestled this issue into submission. Much of their time went into dealing with this.
We may go to the Tucson Convention Center Gem & Mineral Show tomorrow. Or we may be out looking for a new over the range microwave/convection oven. One activity will provide interesting pictures, the other will not.

Monday, February 6, 2012

New Camera

Greetings Earthlings. Today saw the purchase of a new camera. It's this model. I lusted after the cmos processor last year, but didn't want to pay the price for the camera. This year, Canon has cascaded their high end processor in to most of their point and shoots. The camera gives me 8X zoom. Good things come to those who wait.
Look how sharp the palm tree fronds are on the right side of the photo. That's hand held at arm's length in low light. Pretty groovy.

The highly saturated color setting.

When walking back to the RV, I stuck the camera up in the air and took this. Again, low light, very sharp palm fronds.

The Arizona state legislature never ceases to amaze me. A bill has made it out of committee that would allow college students to carry guns on campus. The university administration doesn't want this, the professors don't want this, the students don't want this, and the police don't want this. However, one nutbag legislator wants this. It's really creepy being in the dairy section of Walmart with someone packing heat. The thought of a campus full of young people whose frontal cortexes (corti?) have not fully matured wearing guns just boggles the mind.
Other than that, we have not much of interest to report.